Resign with confidence

Share this blog post

​Looking for a new challenge or the chance to get ahead in your current career? Want to take your career in a new direction? Or maybe you’ve already found a new role that feels like a better fit? Whatever your reason for leaving, breaking up with your current employer and heading off to a new placement is rarely easy.

Under normal circumstances employees feel a mixed bag of emotions when changing roles, ranging from joy and excitement through to sadness, anxiety and guilt. The current pandemic has done little to ease those feelings, adding another layer of concern and uncertainty to an already challenging situation.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. In this article, we’ll share some of the insights we’ve gained helping people through this process over the years, so you can manage your resignation with confidence and emerge from the process with your professional relationships strong and your sanity intact.

A quick caveat before we dive in

In this piece, we’ll be asking questions that may make you feel uncomfortable and/or be difficult to answer. We encourage you to dig deep and answer honestly. The answers are for your eyes only, and they will certainly help you get a clear picture of where things stand in your current role and where you want to go. As an added bonus, they will prepare you for what is to come.

Things you should know before you resign…

Before making the big decision to up-sticks and move to greener pastures, it’s important to explore your motivations and get crystal clear on why you are leaving, what you are looking for in your career and where you’re likely to find it. Without this step, you may find your next role equally as unsatisfying as your current one.

Grab a pen and some paper and work your way through these 10 questions:

  1. What am I aiming for in my career and what do I really want?
  2. What benefits am I seeking in a new role? And how important are they to me?
  3. What are my non-negotiables in a new role?
  4. How can I make sure that I am fulfilled and creating meaning and impact in my future role(s)?
  5. Why do I want to leave my current position?
  6. Can these things be addressed with my current employer?
  7. Who do I need to consult before quitting my current role (e.g., family, partner, dependents)?
  8. How will my decision to resign affect my family, partner, dependents?
  9. What are my contractual obligations? Are there any notice periods, restraints of trade, etc. that I need to factor into my decision?Note: we recommend you check and adhere to contractual obligations. Be sure to conduct yourself with a high degree of professionalism and remember you want to ensure you leave a legacy that reflects well on you. We often see employees commit to timelines that put pressure on their notice period which creates undue stress and pressure. For this reason we strongly advice that you check your notice period and get clear on your ideal timeline prior to attending an interview and be cautious of an employer that encourages you to breach any of your obligations be it restraints or notice periods.
  10. How is my employer likely to react to my resignation and will their response impact on my decision?

Now to resign with dignity

It’s important to be prepared for a spectrum of different reactions from your employer. The main factor that takes a toll on candidates is employers’ tendency to make a counteroffer. Whilst this is flattering, research tells us this rarely does little more than delay the inevitable and often breeds resentment. In tightening labour market conditions, it’s not uncommon for employers to pull on the heart strings, it’s also not uncommon for employers to pull the rip cord when necessary. Knowing your answers to the questions in this article will help you stay grounded and on track no matter what response you get.

Once you’ve covered off the big questions, it’s a good idea to get your notice in writing (confirming your last day as per your contracted notice period) if you are comfortable doing so we recommend setting a time to speak to your direct manager in person. Open by thanking them and inform that you are issuing your notice as per your employment contract as you are seeking or have secured another role, after the meeting ensure you have provided this in writing by email confirming dates. Now that you’ve done the hard part and you’re ready to make your exit, remember your are leaving (your co-workers are not) be sure to dig in and finish strong in your last few weeks. Close off all outstanding duties and handovers. Be polite, say a warm goodbye and thank you to your colleagues before leaving. This will keep your relationships strong and help you to avoid burning bridges.

For more career advice and help finding the ideal role to suit your career goals, talk to our friendly team or browse our website to see what’s available.

More blogs

Can money buy loyalty
Career Development

Can money buy loyalty?

​If money was the only motivator for job seekers, no one would volunteer or take a lower paying job because they believe in the cause or love the company ethos. In truth, humans are complex

Read More »

Quick CV Drop

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.